Politics creates strange bedfellows; it can also create some real twisted logic. One side can trumpet individual liberty when it comes to one issue, but support government interference on another – it depends on the group’s goals and objectives.
I recently was sent some discussion pieces on liberty by two political groups. I found it humorous that both groups made the same argument based on liberty and government’s role, but simply reversed positions depending on the issue. What these politicians or groups should really say is: “I will say whatever I think will work to move my agenda forward.”
The recent gun control debate was a wonderful case study. I was intrigued to see the headlines about how the will of the people was subverted due to political influence following the defeat last week of expanded background checks. The headlines were right in that the majority of people support expanded background checks, but these same media outlets certainly didn’t run similar headlines when Obamacare was passed, even though the majority of Americans disapproved of it.
Perhaps it’s a symptom of the times we live in, but pragmatism and compromise aren’t accepted practices anymore. Today, it seems we have more staunch and unbending ideologues – people who will do or say anything to advance their agenda. The result is that either little of real substance is accomplished, or something being rammed down the other side’s throat.
The result of this impasse is that our elected legislators are unable to pass good or lasting legislation. Thus, the bureaucracy is increasingly relied on to create a workable solution and implement the rules. Meanwhile, the opposition turns to the courts. The truth is that while there will always be winners and losers in politics, the goals are rarely mutually exclusive.
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Many of us will never compromise our Second Amendment rights, though everyone agrees that something must be done to address the cycle of violence that pervades our country today. Neither side trusts the other. Some of us may not believe in the government taking over a huge portion of the economy, as it’s doing with Obamacare, but most would agree that the skyrocketing cost of health care is on an unsustainable course.
It seems we’re incapable today of fixing problems, or even agreeing on how to address them. So, while the politicians will say whatever it takes to advance their agenda, the real losers are the people who vote for them.
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